Investing in a Kitchenaid mixer is a choice that will be pleased with for many years. Kitchenaid stands above the other mixers and outsells year after year. After all, Kitchenaid is the brand that is trusted for reliability, offers flexibility in use of a wide array of attachments, and has top of the line customer support.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE:
Choosing the right Kitchenaid is different for every person. There are three main questions that you need to answer in your own mind:
- What is the largest batch of food that you need to prepare?
- What types of dough do you plan to make? Heavy breads that require extended kneading or light cupcake batters?
- How low is the clearance on your upper kitchen cabinets, or do you have a stand alone island?
These are important considerations. Both the bowl sizes and the motor sizes vary. This is why you must consider the size and type of batters that you will prepare with your Kitchenaid. The clearance on your kitchen cabinets is important because there is a tilt-head and a bowl-lift model.
I’ve actually owned all three of the models which I am reviewing. I upgraded the first one because the bowl was too small. I upgraded the second one after I moved to a new home. For when I lost my kitchen island, my tilt-head stand mixer was no longer convenient.
So the quest to determine which Kitchenaid stand mixer is the best stand mixer for you begins with answering those three questions.
KitchenAid Classic Plus Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, 4.5 Quart
This Kitchenaid stand mixer is the classic Kitchenaid that home cooks have known and loved (in some variation) for decades. It is often described as the best standing mixer for at home use.
The tilt-head is easier for most home cooks to operate. It’s less cumbersome than the bowl-lift models. However, check the clearance from your countertop to your cabinet uppers to make sure that it will work for you. If you have a kitchen island or peninsula, it will work out great for your kitchen. If not, the bowl-lift may be the best for you.
AFFORDABLE PRICE POINT:
This unit is an affordable, entry-level price point Kitchenaid. You still receive the Powerhub which allows you to operate various attachments but at a lower cost than the higher power models. For a home cook, this may be the best stand mixer for you.
The smaller motor allows this Kitchenaid to keep a lighter weight. While some of the larger units weigh in at the over 25 pound mark, this one weighs 14.99 pounds. This makes it easy to stow away if you don’t have space to keep it on your countertop.
- Affordable price point.
- Weighs in at just under 15 lbs.
- Tilt-Head is easy to operate.
- Limited color options.
- 275 watt motor.
- Doesn’t interchange with other 4.5 qt bowls.
KitchenAid Artisan Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5 Qt
This model is a step above the entry level Classic Plus series. Sure, it comes with a higher price tag. However, more adventurous cooks often choose this model. This unit will let them work with thicker doughs and batters and more advanced attachments.
This Kitchenaid comes with a pouring shield. This will assist you in two ways. First, dry and light ingredients like flour are shielded from spitting out when you turn on your mixer. Second, when you pour your batter from to the baking pan from the bowl, the shield assists you in pouring in a mess-free manner.
This comes in a huge variety of colors. Love watermelon pink? Desire deep blues? Want to brighten your kitchen with sunny yellow shades? None of these are a problem. You can purchase this stand mixer in dozens of colors. This stand mixer makes a funky and fashionable statement in your kitchen!
This motor is larger than the Classic Plus series. I upgraded to this particular model because of the meat grinder attachment. As an avid deer hunting family, we harvest two deer per season. We butcher our own meat. When it comes to running the grinder for a longer period of time, this held up much better than the Classic Plus.
- 325 watt motor.
- Huge variety of colors.
- Five quart bowl is roomy.
- Mixer weighs 26 pounds.
- Not easy to store off the countertop due to size.
- The tilt-head slams down hard due to weight.
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, 6 Qt.
This Kitchenaid stand mixer is of professional quality. The 6 quart bowl allows avid cooks to produce dozens of cookies, large batches of brownies, or several loaves of bread from one mixing session. This means that the investment in this is a must if you bake frequently.
This is the last KitchenAid mixer that I purchase. I am confident that this is the last one that I will need. Because I do use the meat grinder, pasta maker, and spiral functions regularly, I keep it on my counter at all times. Which is good, because this weighs almost 29 pounds!
575 WATT MOTOR:
The 575 watt motor withstands long stretches of mixing large batches of thick bread dough with little effort. I love that I can toss in the ingredients, flip on the switch, and let it mix while I prepare my baking pans.
BOWL LIFT DESIGN:
Some people love the bowl lift design and others prefer the tilt-head. While the tilt-head makes it very easy to swap out tools, I feel like the bowl lift design is sturdy. This is necessary when you are mixing dough for four to five loaves of bread at once!
In addition, I chose the bowl lift model because my tilt-head kept hitting into my upper cabinets when I tried to tilt up. When I moved to my current home the bowl lift option was a better fit.
6 QUART BOWL:
The six quart bowl that’s included with this Kitchenaid is huge! I love being able to mix a larger than life batch of cookie dough. I also love the fact that when I’m mixing a smaller portion, the larger bowl height prevents spattering.
- Easily mixes heavy doughs.
- Lots of color choices.
- Bowl-lift design = better clearance.
- It’s easier to change beaters with the tilt-head models.
- Unit weighs 20 pounds, difficult to move around.
- More costly unit.
In conclusion, purchase the best stand mixer that you can afford to invest in. Because I “upgraded” twice from my original Kitchenaid, I have now spent over $1000 in mixers. If you truly know in your heart that you will only use your mixer occasionally, go for the Classic Plus. If you are a kitchen warrior, then perhaps you should bite off the bigger investment and go with the 6 quart model. Then, you will never need to upgrade.